Thursday, November 1, 2012

Forward, Ho!

I think the phrase might be 'Onward, ho!' but forward is more appropriate for us.  Last night we had a great lesson involving lots of lovely forward trotting.  We worked a lot on lightening my seat more in the canter.  My pony HATES it when I shove and of course it's second nature for me to SHOVE.  It's like I have the belief that if I clench my butt muscles and shove forward, she'll have no choice but to canter.  Instead, it shuts her down instantly.  She's a princess pony, remember?  And so everything must be light and covered in fairy dust and glitter.  Well, everything except my outside rein, which has this habit of floating away (is that my hand up in front of my face?  how did it get there?).

So L had me put more weight into my stirrups and focus on sitting tall and relaxing.  Every time I started to get it right, Tessa broke to a trot.  On the bright side, the trot she broke to was gorgeous and forward and even sometimes on the bit.  We had some good moments all in all.

We also worked on getting my legs farther back beneath me.  They just won't stay there.  I think partly because it was adding too many new things to the mix.  Hold the outside rein, more weight in the stirrups, relax your butt, tighten your core, sit tall and now put your legs a bit farther back.  Also, the pony is convinced that if my legs are that much farther back I want her to *do* something.  We had some random leg yields, haunches in and a lot of tail swishing.  If it was up to Tessa, all cues would be done at her shoulder.

I also talked to L about my Pony Club plan.  She's on board.  I need to figure out a way to find babysitting so I can do a Tuesday afternoon jump lesson.  One of the frustrating things about my barn is that they only do jumping on Tuesdays.  I understand why they do it (our arena is small and if there are jumps set up, there's not much room to do anything else) but it's hard because Tuesdays are not a great day for me to get out there.  But I'm going to figure it out and my goal is to be able to ride a stadium course of five jumps not to exceed 18inches.

I'm also going to be working on getting outside.  One of the girls I ride with on Monday night said she lives relatively close to the barn and has a 2 acre field with a small log in it and a Steady Eddie horse for Tessa to follow.  We haven't made definite plans (I want to jump in an arena before I try the log) but my goal is to try and push forward.  The sticky spot is that once again, I don't have a trailer or truck so I need to figure out a ride.  And it's expensive to rent a horse trailer at $80 a pop and that doesn't include a truck!!  Sheesh.  I just don't think I want to invest in a truck and trailer and I'm pretty sure that's not in our budget right now anyways, but I'm getting to the point where I need to be going places.

After I do this, I will have met the requirements for D-2 Level Pony Clubber.  D-3 requires more jumping, but it just says "not to exceed 2'6" so I think I'm safe to stay at my little crossrails.   D-3 does have the Emergency Dismount requirement.  That should be....interesting.  I only have to be able to do it at a halt and walk for D-3, but I'm not sure I can fling my body off a horse with that much coordination.  At my age, I'm not convinced flinging myself off a horse on purpose is my best plan anyways.  I'll let you all know..


  1. I have that same canter seat problem - butt clenching, knee gripping, shoving, etc when I ride in the indoor arena. For whatever reason, I can relax, put my weight in the stirrups, lighten my seat, etc when I ride outside. Totally in my head!

    I love your pony club goals :)

  2. *sigh* the dreaded pelvic pumping canter. My last lesson my trainer exclaimed rather jubalently "You're finally not pumping" my retort "but I'm doing the fish out of water flop up here" Her response "It's no where near as bad as you think it is - just keep riding just like this"

    I admire your goals - goals are awesome. As for the "ride" maybe you're friend with the acreage could have a pony play date and allow you to invite another person who has truck/trailer?

    I'm kind of in the same boat except I bought a trailer so all I have to do is borrow a pick up.